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Comment There IS no controversy (Score 1) 67

The simple fact is that some people STILL believe The Earth Is Flat. Just like some people believe that a Fibre-to-the-home National Broadband Network is A Bad Thing.

Sure it's a huge bucket of money.
Sure there needs to be oversight, to ensure the money is well spent not just pork-barrelled.
Sure, you *could* achieve some (but only a little) of that by being (slightly) cheaper.

The bottom line is that the VAST overwhelming MAJORITY of backlash against the NBN has been spearheaded by The Opposition - People who (as in America) OPPOSE things for no reason other than it was somebody elses idea, therefore Ahm Agin' it!

Comment Re:Firsthand experience with surface stimulation (Score 1) 311

for a split second I saw some sort of bright thunderbolt approach from the left and sweep all the stuff away. It felt like a relief somehow but I'm not sure WTF I was seeing.

Probably $DEITY (insert appropriate value according to what you truly worship, in the deepest and most secret depths of who you really are)

Comment All that glittters is not gold (Score 1) 206

It's not just the basic chemicals but the molecules and how they are 'folded' which makes a MASSIVE difference to what happens.

I predict this will be technically correct but completely useless, as seen in that classic joke about mathematicians:

Two Physicists were riding in a hot air balloon and were blown off course sailing over a mountain trail, and were completely lost.

They spotted a jogger running on the trail and they shouted "Can you tell us where we are?" After a few minutes, the jogger yelled back "You're up in a balloon."

One physicists said to the other, "Just our luck to run into a mathematician". "How do you know he was a mathematician?" asked the other.

"Well, in the first place he took a long time to answer; second, his answer was 100% correct and third, ,it was totally useless."

Comment Re:Not good for long haul use (Score 1) 104

This band is not useful for long haul carriage due to atmospheric water vapor absorption. According to this chart, absorption between 200 and 280 GHz varies between 3 and 40 dB/km. That means at the low end only 50% of your signal is absorbed every km. At the high end, only 1/10,000th of your signal remains after each km.

this post speaks to similar issues including refraction.

That has not and will NEVER stop $TELCO from selling services across this with "UP TO" marketingspeak which means "we fuck you royally for a service which is online but effectively unuseable".

Comment You KNOW I'm right.... (Score 0, Redundant) 150

.... when I say "shaddup and take my money already!" (where do I sign up for this magical island experience)

People are happy to "go explore and the consequences can go fuck themselves". In fact, some people are HAPPIEST in such circumstances.

Long before there was ever proposed a ONE WAY Mars Mission I was saying that the NASA/US insistence on human safety during exploration missions was THE WRONG ATTITUDE.

I said that should such a mission be proposed, with a well explained and clearly stated intention to NEVER even ATTEMPT to return these pioneers to earth (yes folks, you're gonna die out there - one way or another) they'd STILL have squilliions more applicants than they could ever accept.

And I was proven right.

The Same Goes for this (as yet hypothetical) 'Google Island', there's be literally thousands of people who would rationally consider all the possible negative outcomes and despite everything still choose to explore-the-possibilities.

To deny such a thing is true is to completely misunderstand something fundamental about what it is to be human.

For some opportunities the reward is so great that it is worth any risk.

And before anyone tries to belittle such an atitude, remember folks that without such a pioneering risk-accepting attitude The US of A would never have been discovered (by anyone). In fact without such attitudes your great-to-the-umpteenth primate ancestors would never have left the trees (ditto THEIR great-to-the-umpteenth fishlike ancestors and water).

Comment Re:The Haystack (Score 1) 501

Because the best way to find a needle in a haystack is to dump increasing amounts of hay on top.

Somebody confused the difference between DATA and INFORMATION.

To stop the terrorists we need MORE INFORMATION, not MORE DATA.

See: Signal To Noise Ratio.

Or, perhaps (ie MORE LIKELY) this has NOTHING to do with Catching The BadGuys and EVERYTHING to do with BEING SEEN TO BE DOING SOMETHING (aka Security Theater, The ONLY thing we have to fear is fear itself, The BEST way for a government to control the people is keep them in a constant state of fear)

Comment Re:well done kids! (Score 1) 327

This is exactly what we should be encouraging kids to do. Regardless of lack of control or other "missing" experimental methods, this is a significant scientific result for a bunch of 9th graders. Good on them and good on their teacher for encouraging them to do the experiment and having the balls to publish it.

Absolutely! And now their teacher should invite some random scientist/professor to teach the class a lesson on "the scientific method, research bias, double-blind testing, proper control cases". Could easily be covered (at a very basic level) in one class.

THEN walk the students through an extended version of the experiment, at least attempting to identify a potential cause for the lack of germination.

What these students did was excellent, while they're still excited about it someone should show them how to make it even more awesome.

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